Group questions legality of Anti-Terrorism Act at SC
MANILA, Philippines — A day after the controversial anti-terror bill was signed into law, a group of lawyers and advocates on Saturday filed before the Supreme Court a petition questioning the constitutionality of the measure.
In a Facebook post, the Calleja Law Firm, led by Lawyer Howard “Howie” Calleja, said the group filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with urgent prayer for the issuance of a temporary and writ of preliminary injunction and/or other injunctive remedies against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
Joining Calleja are lawyers Joseph Peter Calleja, Napoleon Siongco, and Raeyan Reposar; University of the Philippines Law Professor Christopher John Lao; Dr. Reynaldo Echavez; civic group Frontliners: Tunay na Bayani and Bagong Siklab Pilipinas; and Brother Armin Luistro of the De La Salle Brothers, Inc.
A group of lawyers led by Ateneo and La Salle law professor and lecturer Atty. Howard “Howie” M. Calleja filed today, by…
“The group advocates a just and humane law that is for the benefit of all Filipinos. While threats to our national security need to be addressed, the law, as crafted, is oppressive and inconsistent with our constitution, hence, the petition. This fight against Terrorism should not and should never be a threat to the fundamental freedoms of all peaceful Filipinos,” read the statement posted on social media.
The petition states that the “effectivity and implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act will materially and substantially prejudice basic constitutional rights and may result [in] the permanent contradiction of civil and political liberties.”
The petition was filed electronically. The full copy of the petition will be published after the lawyers physically file the petition at the Supreme Court on Monday, July 6.
On Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the anti-terror law that seeks to repeal the Human Security Act of 2007. The new law penalizes, among others, incitement of terrorism by “means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, banners or other representations.”
The anti-terrorism measure was published also on Friday, July 3, and will take effect on July 19.
Progressive organizations and human rights groups denounced the passage of the anti-terror bill as they feared it might be prone to abuse, human rights violations, and silence critics.
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